Toning shoes can help certain foot conditions but are harm to others. Be skeptical!



Foot doctors for years have been prescribing rocker bottom shoes with soles to help patients with foot or ankle arthritis. It helps propulsion and absorbs shock during the gait cycle distal to normal heel strike. This may help back pain in some cases. Normal gait progresses from heel to toe. The rocker bottom causes us to hit the ground closer to the mid foot beyond the heel. The rocker bottom assists in propulsion making pushing off with toe easier due to the rocker’s motion.


Can they create firmer thighs and buttocks?


Although muscles likely do work harder to overcome the instability of the shoes, there isn’t consistent proof that it will actually burn fat and boost muscle tone.


What they can do, is redistribute the pressure on your foot, alleviating stress and strain on the joints, which is helpful for people suffering from arthritis in the foot. They do absorb more shock to your feet, legs and lower back. Thus they may help one’s exercise regime. This presumes that you have a normal angle and base of gait where your feet and legs appear straight when walking. 


If your legs and feet turn-out or turn-in, these shoes may cause injury.   If your feet and legs are straight the shoes will function better.    The rocker bottom needs a straight line of progression to function.  They will not function properly if your feet in-toe or out-toe significantly.  This may account for why some people love the shoes and others can't tolerate them


People should treat toning shoes like fitness tools wearing them for specific exercise goals.


The most foot problems podiatrists see from exercise is from overuse which leads to injury.


I remain skeptical that they will actually burn more fat and boost muscle tone.